Top names from the world of poetry to feature at Wells festival

Christopher Reid will present a selection of his poetry at the Wells Poetry Festival

Christopher Reid will present a selection of his poetry at the Wells Poetry Festival - Credit: Archant

A diverse programme combining the voices of new poets with those of established writers is on offer at this year's Poetry-next-the-Sea Festival at Wells.

Bernard O'Donoghue will present his latest poetry at the Wells Poetry Festival

Bernard O'Donoghue will present his latest poetry at the Wells Poetry Festival - Credit: Archant

Starting on Friday, May 8 and running throughout the weekend the event opens with Robert Crawford reading from his new biography Young Eliot (2015) in which he anatomises the elements, ideas, and opinions T S Eliot absorbed from his school and university days to form the extraordinarily well-stocked mind that gave birth to The Waste Land.

Broadcast as a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week in February, Young Eliot has prompted superb reviews from The Financial Times, The Scotsman, The Times, and The Daily Telegraph.

Saturday starts with two poetry workshops with Bernard O'Donoghue and Christopher Reid who will also present their latest work.

It also welcomes former Times journalist Rachel Kelly, talking about her award-winning memoir Black Rainbow: How Words Healed Me (2014) with readings by Nicholas Hill. This intimate and insightful memoir describes how Kelly used poetry to spectacular effect to overcome depression.


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Will Burns and Declan Ryan, Faber New Voices, read a selection of their poems, followed by Andrew McNeillie and Colette Bryce.

Katrina Porteous, one of this nation's most innovative poets, together with Peter Zinovieff, who invented the VCS3 synthesiser used by Pink Floyd and Brian Eno, will present Horse (2014) on the Sunday morning which was developed for BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival. This completely electronic presentation is an exciting development for Poetry-next-the-Sea.

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Rachael Allen and Zaffar Kunial complete the event.

A selection of these books are available at The Holt Bookshop which will also have a well-stocked stand in the auditorium throughout the weekend.

* For more information, schedule and tickets, visit www.poetrynextthesea.co.uk.

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